By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio News
About 200 Latino families in need were able to make Thanksgiving dinners thanks to one organization that has figured out how to safely drop off resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zuli Garcia founded Latinx Knock and Drop when the pandemic started, to make sure Latino families in Des Moines and the surrounding area had enough food during a time of high unemployment and health risks. Garcia said it’s especially important for Latino families to have Thanksgiving meals because it promotes equality.
“Kids are always talking about oh, you know, we did this for Thanksgiving. I don’t want my kids to feel left out,” Garcia said. “I don’t want my kids to feel like well, we didn’t do anything for Thanksgiving. I had cereal on water for Thanksgiving.”
Garcia said she has seen this problem predominantly in Latino communities, which have had higher unemployment rates than non-Latinos during the pandemic, and also face a language barrier to accessing other resources.
She said eating a Thanksgiving dinner is about more than eating turkey. It’s about making sure Latino immigrants feel welcome and included.
“I just think that it’s important for children to feel part of where they’re at. And Thanksgiving is a huge thing here in the United States,” Garcia said.
Knock and Drop helped about 200 families have a Thanksgiving dinner, along with providing other resources like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.